Ashley Graham is a well-known plus-size American model who has graced the covers of major fashion magazines.
Who Is Ashley Graham?
Ashley Graham, born on October 30, 1987, is an American model who has become one of the most popular faces in the modeling industry, particularly among curvy women (a term Graham prefers over “plus-sized”). Graham has been described as an ambassador of the “real beauty” movement, which celebrates what real women’s bodies look like rather than the impossible standards set by the fashion industry. She is known for her accessibility and body confidence. She has graced the covers of the world’s biggest fashion magazines, including Vogue, Elle, and Harper’s Bazaar, and has walked the runway for major fashion brands and designers as her popularity has grown.
Sports Illustrated Cover
Making history in 2016, Graham became the first curvy model to grace the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
“It was an eye-opening experience for me in that ‘Oh my God, I can do anything I want,’” Graham said about her history-making moment. “When you’re given an SI cover and you take advantage of it, you can conquer the world.”
Height, Weight & Size
Graham is 5 foot 9 1/2 inches tall and weighs 200 lbs. She is a size 14.
Husband and Son
Graham first met her husband Justin Ervin, a documentary filmmaker and cinematographer, while attending church. The couple married in 2010. Graham announced her pregnancy via Instagram in August 2019, before giving birth to a son in January 2020.
In a 2017 interview with CBS, Graham admitted that her interracial relationship with Ervin, who is Black, was shocking for her Nebraska family:
“I will never forget that feeling of just sitting there with Justin, thinking, ‘I’m so embarrassed that I had to bring him in to meet these people, these people who raised me and taught me how to live, and he’s being treated so terribly,’ she said. “And he said to me, ‘Racism is never surprising, but it’s always disappointing.'”
Graham’s net worth is estimated to be around $10 million.
Building a Brand: Bathing Suits, a Book, and Even a Barbie
Graham has launched a bathing suit line at Swimsuits for All, a lingerie line at Addition Elle, and a clothing line at Dress Barn since becoming a global fashion star. Mattel approached the model in 2016 about creating a Barbie doll in her likeness, which she agreed to on the condition that the doll have no thigh gap. Graham, who was always busy building her brand, became an author a year later with the publication of her memoir A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty, and Power Really Look Like.
Career as a Model
Graham began her modeling career with Wilhelmina Models in 2001, but two years later switched to Ford Models when the agency’s plus-sized division was closed down. She is currently represented by IMG.
Graham was discovered at the age of 12 in a Lincoln, Nebraska shopping mall. Soon after, she was appearing in advertisements and catalogs and steadily learning what it took to be a serious model. By the age of 18, she had relocated to New York City to pursue her career full-time.
Graham has graced the covers of Vogue, Elle, Glamour, and Harper’s Bazaar, as well as walked the runways of New York Fashion Week, most notably for Michael Kors’ spring/summer 2018 collection.
Among the many fashion campaigns she’s appeared in, Graham has worked with Bloomingdale’s, Liz Claiborne, Hanes, Target, Macy’s, Levi’s and Nordstrom.
Work in the television
Graham appeared in a controversial Lane Bryant commercial in 2010 and later appeared in a music video for the DNCE song “Toothbrush” in 2016. She has also worked as a backstage host for the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, as well as a judge on America’s Next Top Model. She began hosting the Lifetime competition series American Beauty Star in 2019.